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8.12.2009

New Product Alert: eCraft


{reported by Emilie Ahern}

While at the Summer CHA I saw a new product which sparked my interest and I think will spark yours as well. A new personal electronic cutting system (hereafter abbr. PECS). It is the eCraft made by Craftwell USA. I asked a gazillion questions, checked out the machine and I am here to report on the features eCraft offers.


What can it cut? Paper (standard, flocked, glitter, magnet), card stock, vinyl, and Tim Holts' grunge paper (it’s the only PECS on the market that can).

Do I need to change settings for each type of paper? No. The eCraft has a paper sensor that automatically adjusts the blade settings (its magic!).

How large is the cutting capability? The eCraft is 12 inches wide like most PECS, but does not have a specified length. This is due to the fact that the eCraft does not use cutting mats. Paper feeds directly in and out of the machine like a home printer. So you can cut images that are 12” by 48” if you want and beyond. AT the CHA this machine had a wheel of paper loaded behind it and continually ran. A similar paper wheel will be available to consumers in future.

Does it take cartridges? The eCraft uses SD cards similar to those used in digital cameras. They enable you to work independently of a computer. Like a cartridge, you can purchase these cards preloaded with shapes on different themes. The SD Fun Cards (as they are called) are cheaper than current market cartridges (around $40) and hold more content…each holding hundreds of images. They also offer a card holder (much like the Cricut JukeBox) which will hold up to 10 cards.

Can I use my own designs? The eCraft Pro software version will enable the use of your own designs and True Type fonts. When using Adobe or similar programs, you may need to save your work as a specific file type (no problem!).

Can I connect to a computer? Yes, using a USB connection. But it is not required (see above). You can, however, use your computer (with the included software) to rotate, weld letters and make other cosmetic changes to images).

Will it work on a Mac? The initial release is for PC but we are hard at work on the Mac version.

Does it draw? Yes. It holds colored pens that can be purchased separately. The cool thing is the pen can always stay loaded next to the blade so that you do not have to swap one for the other. It will draw first and then proceed to cut it out.

What are the differences between the models? The basic unit has a B&W display and will come with one SD Fun Card. The deluxe unit has a color screen and will be bundled with two SD Fun cards. We are planning a unit designed for heavier use that is ideal for craft stores, clubs and power users, It will be equipped with a heavy duty motor drive and other industrial features. All units will have the same cutting capabilities.

The cutesy stuff: The cutter comes in three color choices; white, green and pink. The eCraft will also have available hard cases and soft cases for portability in a variety of styles.

How heavy is this unit itself?
It’s around 4lbs, so it is fairly light and (having seen it in person) it is much more sleek than other PECS. It is very slim in design.

How much? The MSRP for the eCraft ranges from $249 to $399 depending on the model and SD Fun Cards are expected to retail for around $39. Replacement blades will run about $1.00 each and will be available in a 25 pack. (actual retail pricing is usually lower)

When will it be in stores? The eCraft will be available by the holiday season 2009.


The Website: http://www.craftwellusa.com/
A short demo video: http://craftwellusa.com/pages/demos



What is YOUR initial reaction?
Do you feel the additional features make it a standout among other PECS? Love the sleek design and the color choices? Or do you think there are enough cutting systems to choose from already on the market?

36 comments:

Anonymous said...

My first reaction Is I'm really sorry I bought a Cricut now. I waited and waited on buying a cutting system and now I'm sorry I didn't wait longer. My DH would never let me buy another system so now I'm stuck. I hate when that happens.

Joli said...

I already have a Cricut and a Slice, I don't see anything unique about this one. It will be a pass for me.

Holly said...

I like the idea of not having to have a mat, and I like that it will figure out how thick the paper needs to be. The fact that it can use both cartridges and true type fonts is so awesome!! It's like a cricut/slice and wishblade all in one. I can do awesome stuff at home, but still take it with me without my computer, very cool. Questions remainint: How often will the blades need to be replaced? How exactly do you put in leters when working off a card if there's no keyboard? I have to say, this is piquing my interest. I'll have to see it in action, but if it lives up to my expectations, I just might get one.

Melissa said...

Like someone else said, I'm kind of disappointed I bought my Cricut in December. I love it, but this looks like it would be perfect for me. I don't have the money to spend on another PECS, so I'm stuck for now.

marla said...

I am thinking that this is one cool machine. I dont own a Circuit but do have a Slice. I think this is great because of the size and not having to have a mat. It seems it would be more convenient than a Slice if you were wanting to cut out a word especially.

Phoebe said...

My initial reaction?? Woohoo!! Love that!! The sleek design and color choices are so cool!! And I love that it uses SD cards!! yep...I think this one will be the one for me!! Thanks for the review!!!

Courtney ;-) said...

My first reaction??? Will they take a trade in for my Cricut?!?!?! I LOVE the thought of not having mats!!!

Rebecca said...

Loved the demo video! My first thought is, "I wonder how much I can get for my Cricut." :) I already sold my cartridges and work with SCAL now, but I would LOVE not to have to deal with mats and buy them all the time. I find them cumbersome and irritating.

Yep, will be looking at this one for sure. Thanks for sharing!

Stephanie said...

I love this and would love to have one! It's great that it doesn't need a cutting mat and I also love that the blade adjusts itself. I too am wondering how often you have to change the blade, but they seem to be inexpensive. :)

Rebecca Ednie said...

Are you kidding? I am so excited about this machine. I have an older model Pazzles machine and the computer software is not easy to use. I have to relearn it everytime I sit down to use it bc I haven't done much with it. I love the ease of use for this system and no cutting mats is awesome. To try mine out, DH and I used regular printer paper and so much lint came off, the cutting mat adhesive was useless. To be fair, the company sent a whole new mat but a matless system sounds awesome! I just hope their computer software is intuitive and simple. Oh, and the pink rocks as does the small size and super cheap blades. I'm guessing with no mat they need to be changed frequently so the price point is right. What I'd like to know is what does the blade cut against??

I can't wait to try one of these out!

gscrapbooks said...

I don't have an electronic cutter yet and after watching the demo on their site, I have to say that this is pretty cool. I like that you can use it with or without a computer. I also like that I'd be able to use my own designs or premade ones. The sizes is nice and it comes in different colors. It's definitely an item I'll keep my eye on.

NanaBeth said...

I have a question-will it cut Hambly Clearly heavy overlays?

Tracy Lavoie said...

HOLY!!! I WANT ONE! No mats, and infinite paper length so that it can make BANNERS??!! I've wanted a PECS that used TrueType fonts and THIS is the one. Goodbye Gypsy (which was on my Santa list) and HELLO eCraft. In pink. Of course.
WOW...great review. You should get commish on this one.

Kelli said...

I think there is a lot out there, but that it all needs improvement. I wish there was one place I could side by side see and compare all the choices available to me. I also think that most of them are way to expensive to be for the average scrapbooker.

Aly D said...

sounds pretty cool to me!

Barb said...

Wow, this sounds mighty interesting. I love the idea of not needing a mat!

heather skye said...

Good Stuff. Seems like they thought of everything;)

Catherine said...

Seems like they combined all the best of the other PECS and then made the machine small enough to be truly transportable. I like many of the features and the small size, but I am not sure I'd be willing to spend the $$ to get a new system. I'll wait and see.

cassie said...

It looks interesting. I like the idea of no mat and love the colors it comes in.

Kelly said...

I want to see and find out more!!! I have a Cuttlebug, Xyron PCS and Slice. I guess I have room for one more. lol. I've been holding off on the Cricut....maybe this is what I've been waiting for? Thanks for sharing the info.

Karen said...

I have the Slice and don't really have room for a Cricut but I might have room for this. I'll be waiting (as usual) for a Mac version however!

Anonymous said...

If it can really work with a Mac, that would be wonderful. I'm excitedly holding my breath.

2hounds said...

small, portable, no mat - this sounds like it might be my dream come true - I keep looking at cutting systems and haven't written the check yet - this may be the one!

Scrapycandy said...

This is ideal...but I will wait to see how it holds up and if there are "issues" with it. Otherwise, I'm sold!

kgscrapper said...

I have the Original Cricut and have been wanting to get the Expression. I think I will wait a while longer and read what people have to say about the eCraft. I like the idea of SD cards, so much easier to store and transport. From the sounds of your review this sounds like the best PECS on the market to date.

Anonymous said...

Great.....:( I finally got a Cricut Exp and now they come out w/ this. I wonder if you can use SCAL software w/ this?

Lynette said...

It sounds like someone really looked at the market while designing this machine. I am impressed with all that it seems to be able to do.

I won't be in the market though unitl my Silhouette wears out.

Christy B said...

Love the size...and love that there are no matts. I've been searching for the right cutter...waiting patiently...the others are too big and the cartridges are too high priced. This may be the one I've been looking for....but I too shall wait and see if there are any issues.

Keesha said...

Love love that it doesn't have a mat, and that it can auto adjust for the paper... I have a wishblade and it's a pain to play the guessing game, and I often end up having to run the thicker cardstock thru the machine twice.

GinniG said...

I am REALLY glad I haven't switched my original Cricut for an Expressions yet!!!! This sounds FASCINATING!!! Especially since we may wind up on an island in SE Alaska in the next two years!!! Can't wait to see it!!!

Karen D. said...

This sounds amazing! I have a Cricut, but would definitely be willing to put it aside for this baby. I LOVE the idea of not having cutting mats, the paper sensor, continuous feed, SD cards, portability AND color choices! What more could a girl want???

arlsmom aka Lynda said...

I can not wait to see these in person...I will be putting this on my Christmas wish list for sure!!!

Vicki said...

I think that you don't need a cutting mat and don't have to change the settings to be such huge things. Wow! And the replacements blades are cheap. Oh and it comes in such cute colors, woo hoo!

Anonymous said...

Oh, no - I'm in trouble!!!

arlsmom aka Lynda said...

LOVE everything I have seen and heard about this new tool....sounds like they thought of EVERYTHING!!!

Slyn11 said...

Hmm...I need it to cut chipboard. I can cut grungepaper in my Cricut. And it seems like the machine doesn't fully cut the shapes out all the way from the paper. In all the demos I have seen the shape has to sort of be pulled away. Almost like it was perforated. That may be a problem for me...I like smooth edges. And I need to see the images...the ones in the demos are not my style. But I do like the sleek design.